Although not specifically made for the online gaming industry, Bitcoin became an instant hit in this sector. However, the decentralized digital currency seems to be having problems with land-based gaming application as brick-and-mortar casinos are not too keen on using it to replace or at least to buy chips.
The use of bitcoins as a currency and as a payment system for Bitcoin casinos and gambling platforms significantly improved online betting. Faster payments, anonymous betting, and provably fair games are only a few of the distinct benefits the virtual currency contributed to the industry.
While one can easily quip that the same can also be applied to land-based casinos, not too many operators are enthusiastic about it.
Nevertheless, there are some casinos that have opened their doors for Bitcoin. Most of them, however, opted to accept it in their hotel and not on the gambling floor, such as the case of the Las Vegas casinos the Golden Gate Hotel & Casino and D Las Vegas Casino Hotel.
The inaccessibility of Bitcoin in these casinos, however, did not stop the D Las Vegas and the Luxor Hotel and Casino from installing a Bitcoin ATM.
This, along with the support for the virtual currency for hotel and restaurant services, would have been the farthest Bitcoin would have gone in aiming to penetrate the brick-and-mortar casinos, until a land-based casino in Cyprus made a monumental move to accept the virtual currency for gambling purposes.
Merit Hotel Nicosia became the first reported hotel and casino to accept Bitcoin when news about it circulated on the web in February. Based on a published interview with the hotel and casino, the establishment bases the Bitcoin price on Bitstamp, and it uses its own Bitcoin wallet where players using the digital currency can deposit bitcoins.
Also, Bitcoin deposits in the casino allow players to withdraw their winnings in fiat currencies.
Now that a brick-and-mortar casino has successfully integrated and accepted Bitcoin, the question is ‘what stops other casinos, especially in Vegas, from doing the same?’
The answer to the million-dollar question may simply boil down to the lack of regulation and the instability of the currency.
Many casinos, even establishments, are adamant because Bitcoin’s value continues to be on a roller coaster. Moreover, due to the lack of concrete laws and regulations regarding the use of Bitcoin, even the gaming board is left uncertain with regard to the legality of Bitcoin use in land-based casinos.